The False Open World of Gaming (not a long read)

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The False Open World of Gaming (not a long read)

Post by BigBox on Tue Jul 15, 2014 6:30 am

I was thinking just now and it hit me, we all know what the definition of what an "open world game" is.  However, do we know what a "false open world game" is?  With this, we look to pretty much every classic RPG game and how people talk about open world games.  Yes, you can travel to places like they're an open world, you can interact with them like they an open world, so the must be an open world.  Right?  Wrong.  The only thing that can really unlock the idea of an open world is that there's a leveling system.  Drop the leveling system, work everything around the character being the same and the open world is essentially gone at this point.

Although, you already are running from one predetermined location to the next predetermined location.  You feel like you're playing in an open world, because you're doing it yourself.  However, Lightning Returns cuts out that middle and you just got one loading screen and then.  BOOM!  You're the next location!  Where's the quests?!  Of course, these kinds of mechanics aren't used as much anymore due to the fact fully open worlds can be made.  However, next time you play a game with those kinds of mechanics.  Ask yourself this.  Is the game truly an open world game?  Or, is it a linear game with open world aspects?
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Re: The False Open World of Gaming (not a long read)

Post by DP on Tue Jul 15, 2014 3:22 pm

There are very few true open world games, based on your last sentence. Honestly, the only ones that really fit that kind of description are Minecraft and its endless knockoffs. A true open world has no mission structure to hold it back, like a GTA game has. It also doesn't have locked areas that you need Item X to access, like the older FF games. Even Skyrim is one of the most linear games out there despite HAVING an open world; sure, you can explore dungeons if you want but they're linear, missions are linear, leveling up is linear, etc.

Hell, the presence of a loading screen in a way destroys an open world game at its outset, unless it's masked by an elevator wait like in Prime 1 and the later Jak games. 

I truly don't believe we've seen an open world game yet. We DID see them back with GTA III, when the subgenre was brought to 3D, but the definition changed in the 7th gen, and I believe it'll change by the end of the 8th.
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